Sunday, October 13, 2019

Grrrrr. I got it wrong again!

Is this what happens to you? You try hard to do something, you spend time and energy on it, and then when you think you've solved the problem you find out is doesn't work. You failed.

Sometimes you might even throw up you hands and say, "Never again. I'm tired of failing. I just can't do anything right."

Right here is where you need to take a deep breath and get real with yourself. Listen to what you are telling yourself.

"I can't do anything right." 

"I'm a failure. I just keep failing over and over and it's just not worth even trying."

Well, if whatever you are trying to do is important to you, a goal perhaps, then it IS worth trying again. Nothing is as important to success as failure. 

If you tell yourself you are a failure and can't do anything right, then that is what you will become. Because we are what we believe.

Maybe you just don't have the guts to fail. But keep trying. Don't quit. Don't give up on what is important to you.

Confront those downing thoughts. If you couldn't do ANYthing right, you would be dead right now, because you have to have done some things right to survive!

So look at what outcome you want and how important that is for you. And keep trying. Someone has said, "If you think you can or you think you can't, you are right."

No guts, no glory. Be courageous enough to keep trying.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Once Upon A Dime

A dime went much farther when I was young. When I was a kid you could buy candy for a penny, a dime would get you a phone-call, and postcards cost a penny to mail. A nice cold Coke could be had for a nickle.

Of course, back then we didn't have a lot of money, so any of the above would be a treat. I remember that in the summer my mom would buy a pint of ice cream that we divided four ways. Now I could eat the whole pint!

Five-and-dime stores actually had things that cost a nickle or dime. My grandfather would take me downtown for an outing. We rode the bus and always stopped at the five-and-dime for a hot fudge sundae at the lunch counter.

Bread was delivered and was about $0.15. Milk was delivered,too, at about $0.20 a quart. And it came in glass bottles. The cream was at the top and you had to shake it to get it mixed. When the weather got really cold the milk would start to freeze and the cream would push the lids out of the bottle.

We could get 10 pounds of potatoes at the store for just over $0.40. We ate a lot of potatoes. Our favorite way to fix them was fried in lard with onions. But we fixed them mashed as well. I don't remember eating baked potatoes when I was a kid.

For a while we got margarine that came with a packet of yellow powder to make it look like butter. I enjoyed stirring it in. We used it on toast, on PB&J sandwiches, and to cook with.

My mom would fix liver and onions and told me it was steak so I'd eat it. I never had steak, so I didn't know the difference. Liver was really cheap then.

We had a little garden in the back of our lot where we grew tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. My mom fixed stuffed peppers with ground beef, onions, and rice in them. We also had to grape arbors. One had white grapes and one had purple grapes. They were wonderful. My mom made jelly and juice from them. As kids we'd just eat some we pulled off the vines.

In those days we left the doors and windows open when we were at home. I don't remember ever being afraid of someone coming in who shouldn't be there.  We were taught to respect other people's property. We weren't allowed to cut through other people's yards without permission. All the mom's on the street would look out for all the kids, reprimand them if needed.

We weren't allowed to play in the street, even though there wasn't much traffic. We did build dams in the rain gutters along the curbs when it rained.  And most of us were trained to go home and inside when the street lights came on.

Looking back, times seemed simpler then. But if I stop to consider some of the things that were happening in the neighbor's homes, I realize the same problems existed for the adults, even if it was simpler for the kids. In one home the mom had advanced diabetes and her legs were all black and swullen. In another home a child a bit younger than me had a disease that made him swell up with fluids in his body. In another home there was a "child" who was very mentally retarded. She didn't walk, couldn't talk, and had to wear diapers, even though she was at least in her teens. In one home the dad was an alcoholic who gambled away his paychecks and depriving his family.

So the "good old days" were only good when viewed from certain perspectives.

We just need to remember that we really don't know what all is going on in someone's life and shouldn't judge them.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mind Your Mind

Your mind is a powerful thing. You use it for good or for ill. Do you pay attention to what you are thinking? You'd be surprised how much you thoughts create your actions.

Listen to what you tell yourself. Do you find yourself thinking, "I can't do this" or "that will never work"?  Have you heard the quote, "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right."

Pay attention. And decide to have better thoughts. Imagine yourself succeeding. See it in your mind's eye. And the chances that you will succeed increase.

"I never get anything right," "I fail at everything I try." These kinds of thoughts doom your chances of succeeding.

I strongly believe in Affirmations. Repeating positive phrases over and over throughout the day can actually change you outlook. Try it for a week or so and watch what happens.

And watch this video to get started.

from the Greater Good website

Sunday, September 22, 2019

What Do You Regret?

Regrets can weigh you down or motivate you to do something. Which works for you?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Do You Have Enough?

Enough is defined as "as much or as many that is required." So do you have enough? What is enough for you? Do you think about it? What is enough.

What do you think you don't have enough of? Time? Money? Freedom? Love? List what you feel like you need more of? And what does that not having enough prevent you from doing/having?

Do you have an inner critic that tells you that YOU aren't enough? Are there people in your life who tell you that you aren't ________ enough?

Does believing you haven't enough leave you anxious or depressed or bereft? Maybe it would help for you to examine how much of something is required. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic.

Watch this video to help you decide.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


How grateful are you? Are you aware of how often, or how seldom, you say "Thank You"?

"Thank you," is probably the first phrase most of us learn as toddlers. And as we grow it often becomes habitual. If you say it habitually, without a sense of gratitude, how grateful are you really? And if we realize we seldom say it, are you seldom aware of your lack of gratitude?

In the hustle and bustle of daily living we may lose touch with what we are actually feeling. We get busy, busy, and don't even see what we have to be grateful for. Or we just assume that others will understand that we are grateful. We think "They should be grateful that I did/said/gave that for them."

But isn't that kind of flat? Wouldn't our world be better if people acknowledged each other in a direct way? And wouldn't you like to know when people are indeed thankful for what you do?

While thinking about how often or seldom you say thank you, spoken or written, also notice who you thank. Do you thank only friends, or family, or people in charge? 

One time during the season of Lent I decided to thank someone different every day, especially those to whom don't usually express my thanks.  I realized that I often am not really present to those around me. I kind of rush through life from one task to another, not noticing all the things others  do for me. I thanked folks in person and in cards or on the phone. The reactions were splendid. The people that I thanked smiled and felt positive from hearing that brief little phrase, "Thank you."

I thanked the people who cleaned our church. I thanked people who had been teachers in my life, academic teachers and personal growth teachers. I had an English teacher in high school who was very encouraging.Yes, it had been years ago, but I was still grateful. I thanked first responders in our neighborhood, took them a plate of cookies. I thanked people who help open doors for me, even though they were strangers. I thanked people who picked up litter and put it in the trash container. I thanked people who did something nice for others, even though I didn't know them. 

If course to make your thanks most meaningful it is important to add what it is you are grateful for when you express your gratitude. If you are thankful for something specific, say what it is. Or say "Thank you for all you do" where that is more appropriate. You don't have to say what it is when it is terribly obvious, like opening the door for you. Or you can say "Thank you for your help." [For more ways to say "Thanks" check out]

It might help your world be more positive and supportive when you begin to give thanks more often. Give it a try. Start noticing what others do and say that you can approve of and express your gratitude. And notice how people respond. Maybe you can start a trend!

And thank you for reading this and for making the world better one kind act at a time.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Are You a Worrier?

What do you worry about? There are always things you could worry about. Some folks are experts at creating worries, of things to fear. And it can become a habit to worry all the time.

However, it is exhausting. Why not let go of the things your can't change and change the things you can. How do you know the difference?

Most worries are self-made. We worry about what "might" happen, about the "what-if's" we create in our mind. What if people don't like me. What if I'm not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, etc.?

These thoughts can keep you from doing or being who you are, the real you. Some spend so much energy worrying that they make choices based on the "what-if's". If you are one of these folks you won't be your real self, or even know your real self.

Your inner critic can keep you from trying new things. And when that is the case you can end up with regrets that take over your life. When you function with accumulated regret you end up with all your gifts inside.

Everyone has gifts, or talents, things that you could do well. But that inner critic can convince you that you aren't good enough, you aren't deserving, you will fail if you try. And if you fail, you give greater weight to the belief that you can never succeed. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Listen to your self-talk. What does your inner critic tell you that gets in the way of being your most alive and actualized self? What is your relationship with worry? What might you regret later that you chose not to do because of focusing on the what-ifs?

Confront the what-ifs. Explore them. What if people don't like you? What could you do about that? What's the worst thing that could happen if they didn't like you? How would you handle that? How important is it that people like you in this situation? This is not constructive worrying.

Constructive worrying is only when it is within our control and empowers us to act. For instance, "I worry that I won't have enough money to pay for the rent.." This is within your control. You can do without something else to pay the rent. Or you can arrange with the landlord to pay half now and half later. Or you can move to something cheaper. While you may not like those choices, you at least have choices.

On the other hand, if you are worried that your landlord won't like you, no matter when you pay, there is really no way to change someone else's preferences. Can you see the difference? 

What are the "what if's" that hold you back from being your best, realistic self?

>What if I'm not good enough?
>What if I'm not ready?
>What if I am not attractive?
>What if I don't know what to say/do?

Can you turn those worries into more useful concerns? Can you just wonder instead of worry? "I wonder if I'm good enough?" Then explore what is needed for you to be good enough and realistically examine what you can do to be "good enough."